The late William Koch was honored at the Nov. 4 Grand Island Town Board meeting with a town proclamation noting his lifelong advocacy for preservation of area history.
William “Bill” Koch, a member of the town’s Historic Preservation Advisory Board since its inception in 1995, passed away Aug. 24.
Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray said Koch was a civic leader, historian and world traveler.
Koch was vice chair of the Erie County Preservation Board for more than 10 years and served on the board of directors for Western New York Heritage Magazine and on the Board of Trustees of the Buffalo Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier, with two years as president. He also worked for the preservation of the Darwin Martin house, the Cobblestone District, and Buffalo’s inner harbor.
Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray said Koch’s passion for history started quite accidentally. Every year on Holy Thursday, Koch’s mother took her son on annual trips to area churches where he was in awe of the grandeur of the sacred places and recognized “a unique sense of well-being when visiting these magnificent sites,” McMurray said.
The trips instilled in him an appreciation for buildings and a lifelong commitment to advocate for preservation of history.
Koch was a treasurer and active volunteer at the Buffalo Religious Arts Center, an organization preserving artworks and artifacts of churches. Koch was honored posthumously by the Buffalo History Museum on Oct. 3 with the Owen B. Augspurger Award for outstanding service.
In making the proclamation, the board resolved to recognize Koch for his remarkable citizenship “and his contribution to preserving historic sites and the history of Grand Island and Western New York.”
Pictured, McMurray presents the proclamation to Koch’s wife, Lois, and son, Marc.